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Could the battery in the electric vehicle you are driving today help store and provide energy for your hotel tomorrow? It may happen soon thanks to the partnership between Green Charge Networks and Nissan that was announced last month. Green Charge Networks is one of the companies mentioned in the article I posted last week on energy storage technology. For those of you not familiar with energy storage systems, they are currently being deployed primarily in California. They help reduce demand charges that typically account for at least 30 percent of a commercial electricity bill, and often as much as 50 percent. Demand charges are based on the highest 15 minutes of electricity usage each month.
The International Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show (IHMRS) has long been my favorite industry show. In recent years the show has experienced a steady decline in attendance as other shows have come along and people’s buying and networking habits have changed. In 2013 and 2014 Green Lodging News worked with the managers of the event to create a Hospitality Green Division—an area where green exhibitors were grouped together. It was a great idea and, I believe, a positive step in helping to stabilize the show. Yet, that step and several others were just not enough to save the show. I just learned that the owners and managers of IHMRS, in the show’s 100th year, have decided to stop IHMRS.
If you read this column regularly you will recall my late March column about the opening of the first 1 Hotel in South Beach in Miami Beach. The “1” concept was first introduced by Starwood Capital Group in 2006 and is the idea of Barry Sternlicht, Chairman and CEO, Starwood Capital Group. The South Beach hotel is the first of three 1 Hotels to open. Every 1 Hotel will be LEED certified. Many of the details about the 1 Hotels already have been published on Green Lodging News. All of the hotels will have significant green features. At 1 Hotel & Homes South Beach, for example, guests are welcomed with 3,000 feet of living wall wrapped around its exterior—probably the largest living wall in the lodging industry.
Next week will mark the nine-year anniversary of Green Lodging News’ launch. It actually took a year to get this publication up and running so I really have spent a decade working on Green Lodging News. I have so many people to thank for their support—the thousands of you who faithfully or even occasionally read the publication, and of course the many suppliers who have purchased advertising over the years. I also have to thank the many folks who have assisted me with circulation efforts since 2006, and Modgility, which provides website technical support. Green Lodging News would also not be as strong as it is today without the article contributions of consultants, suppliers, public relations companies, and others.
Critical to the success of any green program is getting employee buy-in. How do you improve the likelihood of that happening? Consider the findings of some researchers at the School of Hotel and Tourism Management at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and a co-researcher. Their paper, “What Drives Employees’ Intentions to Implement Green Practices in Hotels? The Role of Knowledge, Awareness, Concern and Ecological Behavior,” provides some interesting clues. The researchers conducted a survey at 10 Hong Kong hotels, eight of which were 4 or 5 star and two of which were 3 star hotels. Half of the respondents were female, and the majority were aged between 20 and 49.
Two columns ago I mentioned that I would soon be writing an article on eco-friendly alternatives to pesticides used on bedbugs. I posted that article this past week. Be sure to read it. Probably the biggest lesson I learned during research for my article was that if you really want to know the truth about bedbugs and bedbug treatments, talk to an entomologist. Paul Curtis, a Board Certified Entomologist and Manager, Technical Services, Terminix International, was very helpful as I was writing my article. (Paul has written for Green Lodging News in the past.) About six and one-half years ago I welcomed a new company into the Green Lodging News Product & Service Directory—a company that supplied an all-natural spray to kill and repel bedbugs.
Hersha Hospitality Trust released its first sustainability report this past week. For those of you not familiar with Hersha, it is a real estate investment trust (REIT) that owns and operates upscale hotels in urban gateway markets including New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Miami. The report can be found on Hersha’s website. It successfully captures some of the highlights of Hersha’s many green initiatives. Being a REIT, Hersha is of course focused on financial performance. According to Bennett Thomas, Vice President of Finance & Sustainability for Hersha, any green investments Hersha makes always have to be the right thing to do for shareholders and must have a positive, cumulative return. Hersha's EarthView program was launched in 2010.
Earlier this year Orkin released its 2014 Bed Bug Cities List. Needless to say, it is not the kind of list your convention and visitors bureau is going to be crowing about. Topping Orkin’s list was Chicago, followed by Detroit, Columbus (Ohio) and Los Angeles. My hometown of Cleveland came in at No. 5. A number of cities made big jumps on Orkin’s list. Omaha, Neb., for example, jumped 16 spots, and Sacramento, Calif. jumped 14. The annual list is not based entirely on hotel reporting but all of the different types of places Orkin services. In the press release Orkin released, the company’s Entomologist and Technical Services Director Ron Harrison, Ph.D, said, “Bedbugs are a serious issue across the country, and they’re very difficult to control.
A big tip of the hat this week to David M. Stipanuk. David is the author of the new book entitled, “Hospitality Facilities Management and Design.” It is the fourth edition of the book and David has authored it each time. David, Professor Emeritus, taught at the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University from 1983 to 2008. I highly recommend the book that includes a chapter on “Environmental and Sustainability Management,” as well as chapters such as Water and Wastewater Systems, Electrical Systems, Lighting Systems, Laundry Systems, Facility Design, and Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning Systems. Jeanne Varney, who has taught courses in sustainability and facilities as a Lecturer at Cornell since 2012, contributed to the book.
The evening of Friday, May 8 was unlike any other for Ruben Hernandez, Security Supervisor at New York’s Hotel Pennsylvania. Ruben had just started his shift, which typically runs from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., when he got a call that a guest was unresponsive in a fifth floor room. Ruben grabbed the hotel’s automated external defibrillator (AED) and started running. Fortunately, the elevator door on the ground floor was open. That alone could have meant life or death for the guest. When Ruben arrived at the scene, he and his fellow Security Officer, Danny Sandoval, began administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). When CPR failed to revive the guest, Ruben made the decision to activate the AED. The AED told Ruben to administer a shock to the guest using the AED.
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